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The Aussie market is extending its recent run of gains into a fifth day on Wednesday. The ASX 200 opened firmly higher and is trading near session highs at lunch. The benchmark index is climbing 55 points or 0.8 per cent to 6706. Local shares have been buoyed by the start of US earnings season as stronger than expected earnings helped lift sentiment. This follows the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revising its global growth forecasts lower for 2019 and 2020.

Improvements on the local bourse have been relatively broad based with most sectors advancing after the first few hours of trade. Financials have been one of the main contributors to overall improvements. The four majors are rising as much as 1.4 per cent, with the National Bank (NAB) the standout. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is lagging
a touch as it holds its AGM. English based bank, CYBG Plc (CYB), is 7 per cent higher and has surged roughly 25 per cent over the past two weeks on increasing hopes for a Brexit deal. Wealth manager, Challenger (CGF) is rising 5.5 per cent on a quarterly update.

Consumer staples are the other big improver at lunch. The supermarket giants Coles Group (COL) and Woolworths (WOW) are both firming around 1 per cent. Dairy and Infant formula company, A2 Milk (A2M) is 2.5 per cent higher while Treasury Wine Estate (TWE) is up 4.5 per cent as the winemaker holds its AGM.

The losses are being felt predominately in the IT and material sectors. Buy-now pay-later firms such as Afterpay Touch (APT) and ZipCo (Z1P) are falling sharply with both being initiated as a sell by a major broker. APT is falling 7.6 per cent while Z1P is down 5.7 per cent. As for the miners, Rio Tinto (RIO) is 0.2 per cent weaker after releasing a quarterly update. Iron ore production and shipment from its Pilbara operations in WA rose on the previous year, overcoming weather impacts earlier in 2019. However aluminium and copper production fell. Gold miners are also
lagging with Evolution down 5 per cent. Northern Star (NST) is 2 per cent softer as it looks to complete a takeover of fellow gold miner Echo Resources (EAR).

The Aussie dollar has eased from yesterday’s highs of 67.86 US cents and is buying close to 67.4 with no major economic releases due today. So far, 1b units have changed hands, worth $2.1b with 570 stocks higher, 376 lower and 347 unchanged.

Published by CommSec